Artists For Humanity’s expansion in Boston’s Innovation District will be a pioneering and iconic facility that generates more energy than it uses. It will become the largest Energy Positive (E+) commercial building in New England. The flagship building will support programs for under-resourced youth that promote self-sufficiency.
AFH is a non-profit organization that bridges economic, racial and social divisions by providing under-resourced youth with keys to self-sufficiency through paid employment art or design. The building opens in February 2017. The new multi-story facility will add 51,500 square feet for ongoing and future programming to the existing 24,000 square feet building for a total of 75,500 square feet. It will accommodate more youth artists, expanded galleries and new studios.
The building’s innovative façade will optimize daylighting, maximize thermal performance, and contribute to the energy production that is required of an Energy Positive building. Large loft-like floors will allow flexibility so the AFH can accommodate diverse programs as it grows. The building’s openness and transparency will also allow the community and passersby to see the activities and work taking place within.
The expansion represents a joint commitment by Behnisch Architekten and AFH to build a pioneering, sustainable building that gives energy back to the grid. The building concept is an integral part of AFH’s overall social educational mission and part of Behnisch Architekten’s design philosophy. It points well-designed architecture with an overt environmental agenda.